Review: The Legend of Tarzan
Director: David Yates
By Rhys Tarling
The Legend of Tarzan is a bloodless bore of a movie.
There is little here that will satisfy Tarzan fans save for the occasional yet unfulfilled promise of pulpy adventuring, and absolutely nothing here to convert the unconverted. Unless the unconverted are fans of a bleak atmosphere, wooden performances, and a story that is simultaneously so desperate to be be taken seriously and to leave exactly no impression because it’s so ashamed of its inherently silly nature; ashamed to go native, so to speak.
Wait, who the hell is this made for? Maybe nobody. It’s difficult to imagine a passionless and cinematically polished exercise in IP brand management such as this having anything so abstract as a “target audience”.
This is without even mentioning its generically thunderous score that so insists on thrilling you that it doesn’t so much as complement the accompanying mediocre action sequences as it beats you into a kind of stupefied state of passivity.
And that’s all you need to know.
This review seems insultingly short, but this film is insultingly unexciting and offers nothing worth analysing. Not a goddamn thing. It’s made even worse considering the tremendous talent on and off camera. You might not think that human charisma machines Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson could possibly ever be dead-behind-the-eyes mannequins, but The Legend of Tarzan finds a way. You might not think that director David Yates, the man who brought to life the last four Harry Potter flicks with such magical and gritty panache, could possibly deliver something so unimaginative, but The Legend of Tarzan finds a way. The craftsman and craftswomen behind this money guzzling still-born of a movie are extraordinarily talented and should be spending their time and talent elsewhere. Life is too short for The Legend of Tarzan. Please don’t waste your money seeing this in the theatre. It isn’t worth a penny beyond what you pay for your Netflix account.